Discovering the Voice of God through Scriptures: Bible Journaling 101

Hey guys!!! I’m so excited to be writing on this today. A friend on IG asked me something about Bible Journaling and I already had this topic in mind for this week so everything seemed to be in sync. I listened to a sermon by Pastor Brian Tracy and it inspired me to write this like it changed my Bible study Journey and I know it will change yours too

I think we can all agree that the Bible is the greatest book ever written and it contains countless treasures. I don’t want to assume that we all know how to find those treasures and that is the reason for this post, especially in this season when I’m pushing for us to know and recognize God’s voice in our lives. I believe the best way to know what God is saying in your life is to know what He has said before and all that can be found in the Bible. Please take note of these things:take note.gif

  • Prayer before, during and after your Bible study time is tres importante:

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The spirit and the word of God must always go together. So before you start your Bible study time, you must ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and open your eyes to those treasures. Ask him to send you a word that will lead to you having an encounter with him. While you read, you may encounter things you don’t understand, so you need to ask God for discernment and understanding. After reading, you have to pray for the grace to keep that word in your heart and be a doer of what you have just read because that is the most important thing.

  • Patience:

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I know you have early morning classes or work or some other commitment and you can’t possible settle down to chew on a passage but you have to try. Create a special time for Bible study… How about getting up earlier to do so? My mom does that all the time.

  • Humility

I know it’s so easy to read the Bible relying solely on our own understanding but I want you to know that without God’s help you will miss the point. You have to come with the mindset that you cannot do it on your own and you need God’s help.

  • Confidence

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Yes, come humbly but also come with the mindset that you are a precious child of God and the Bible was made for you and God meant for it to change your life.

  • Common Sense

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Yes, you need God to understand this but common sense is needed. I mean, because Jesus says he is the WAY doesn’t mean you now have to bow down before crossing a road or something.

Pastor Brian gave this acronym for an effective Bible Study system and I’ve found it to be very helpful

R  O  A  D D

 

  • Reading the Bibleannie-spratt-oOEz7c7V3gk-unsplash.jpg

this is the most obvious thing. I mean, if you’re ever going to understand something, you have to read it! But then there are levels to this reading thingie. You have to read for the breadth and for depth.

Breadth:

this is basically scanning through the Bible, reading through it. This is what some of us do when we are rushing. I read the Bible like a storybook sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with it really, just that that’s not where it’s supposed to end. You must read for depth as well

Depth:

this is actually taking the time to read and know what the text is saying. It’s like taking a walk instead of driving. When you take a walk, you can actually notice some things and places that you normally wouldn’t notice if you were driving. It’s like watching a movie instead of the movie trailer. Obviously the movie will be much more detailed. That’s why it’s really okay for you to read for breadth too because after watching a movie, the movie trailer makes so  much sense to you.

I’ll give an example… At the high priest’s house in Luke 22, after Jesus was arrested and peter denied Jesus. I never realized that Jesus was there with Peter. I didn’t realize that Jesus actually looked straight at Peter after the third cockcrow so the gravity of Pete’s Denial didn’t really sink in. Imagine how hurt Jesus must have been even though he already knew. Imagine how ashamed Peter must have felt when he saw the look in Jesus’ eyes. The passage really touched me more because I was able to read for depth. It led to me writing this post:

  • Observation:

This is related to reading for depth. It’s like getting a phone number from someone. After the person tells you their number, you still want to be sure so you recall it to make sure you got the numbers right. You can actually rewrite the text, it forces you to observe what is really going on in the text. You take note of the addresser, the addressee, the time frame, place, and all that. you need to pay attention while doing this.

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  • Asking Questions:

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this is really essential. You have to ask questions while studying your Bible. Be honest with yourself while answering. Some of the questions you will actually be able to answer as you go further in the passage but some questions will need the help of someone else and so you have to write them down.

  • Discern

this is when you begin to apply it to you. What does it mean for you? For instance, let’s take a look at my favorite verse in the Bible:

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

When you read his passage normally, it’s just God talking to Israel concerning their captive years and how he still has great plans and a future for them and all. But for me, I’m not technically an Israelite, I wasn’t even going to captivity in a strange land and then again, I wasn’t even born then.

But when I read this verse with breadth and depth, observe, ask questions, and discern. I see people who have always strayed and a God who loves them unconditionally. I see a God who will never let me stay in captivity to anything, who only has good thoughts and plans for me. I see a future for me in God. I see a good and loving God and that’s what God is saying to me at the moment I’m reading that passage. That is me hearing God’s voice through Scriptures.

  • Do IT

Honestly there’s no point for all this if you’re not going to put them to practice so inasmuch as you’re reading and studying, be a doer as well.

A Little Tip

The people who wrote the Bible didn’t have Microsoft Word or whatever, so they couldn’t change the font of a word or make it bold for emphasis. The only way they could make emphasis was by repetition. So when something is repeated in a passage, you have to take note of it. For instance, John 15:1-8 (NKJV) mentions ‘abide in me’ like 7 times. You should think,

“It doesn’t matter what happens to me in this world. I am to abide, remain, and stay in Christ and let him abide in me. Apart from Christ, I can do nothing”

 

Always write down what God says to you. I promise you, you’ll need it someday. What you write down can never be lost and that’s why you need to get a journal. Of course, a nice cute expensive journal is nice but an exercise book will do.thought-catalog-PeRNNIGmoNU-unsplash.jpg

Bible Versions

Learn to use many Bible versions…I love the compare option on Youversion. Right now, the versions I use to study are NKJV, NLT,  the passion translation, and the AMPLIFIED. There are many other translations and you don’t have to restrict yourself to one. But then again, as the spirit leads.

I love you guys!

 

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